Finally worldwide racing again..!
Day 1 at the Volvo 29er European Championship in Rungsted commenced with a postponement on shore. After some waiting, the sea breeze kicked in and gave 3 races into the score board for the 165 participating teams from all over the World.
First normal Championship for years
When the pandemic started in 2020, there was a hashtag in the sports World that said #wewillraceagain, and we finally have the feeling this year, that things are back to normal for the 29er class: “I am thrilled to see, that the full 29er community is back together again with sailors participating from all continents of the World,” says Joan Mollerus, president of the 29er class. In 2021, the class managed to hold the European and World Championships with many restrictions and many sailors from countries outside Europe could not participate. “Many countries did a fantastic job of building their own 29er fleet and f.x. New Zealand and Australia had a good turnout from their summer events during the lockdown."
Excitement at the starting line even made it's the way onto the committee boat you could feel the excitement in the fleet:
"This is my third European Championship as Principle Race Officer for the 29er class, and you could just feel how excited the sailors were today to finally be allowed to get started. Fortunately, we got 3 races in on all the fleets, which was absolutely fantastic, so I am very satisfied.” says Remco Goederen, overall PRO for the European Championships 2022. The championships has three days with qualifying series, and afterwards the final races are sailed for another three days.
The reining, local champions show the way
The local 29er-stars, the brothers Jens-Christian and Jens-Philip Dehn- Toftehøj, who took European Championship Gold and World Championship Bronze last year, won the day on their home waters outside Rungsted Harbor. The 19-year-old helmsman on the Danish crew, who has recently graduated from high school, says: “We had a bit of a late start today around 3 o'clock. The wind increased to about 5-10 knots, which no one really had expected, but it was good and it was great racing." The team has by far the best and most stable series on the first day and JC reveals a wise choice in relation to their setup: “We made a 1-3-1 and we are pretty satisfied with that - a good first day. It was difficult to read the course, the wind shiftet a lot with come gusts. I think we were quick to change the setup, so we had the speed we wanted."
In second and third place are two French crews sailed by the Sam Chambet and Bastian Couty and their compatriots Caroline Pennetier and Benjamin Benhayoun. The best female crew from Hong Kong Emeli Polson and Maddalena Di Salvo is in an overall 18th place, with a nice but variating series of 3, 21, 1.
For more photos: https://shop.sailing.pics/29erec2022/